What is the Project Management Life Cycle?

By Yash Gupta2 min read · Posted Aug 23, 2022


What do a marketing campaign, developing a software, and constructing a building all have in common? They all require an individual or team to utilize resources, tools, knowledge, and skills to provide value to others -- or, in other words, project management.

To turn an idea into a deliverable product, most teams follow the project management cycle, which consists of 5 stages:

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning
  3. Execution
  4. Monitoring & Controlling
  5. Closing

1. Initiation

The very first step of the cycle is project initiation, which mainly consists of defining the project scope. The project scope will include important information such as constraints, budget, goals, and a timeline (which can be somewhat fluid for the time being).

2. Planning

In this stage, you will form a project plan, which will act as a roadmap. Some of the particular aspects of the plan includes:

  • Detailed timeline - Unlike the Initiation phase, the timeline should include firm deadlines that everyone will follow.
  • Project goals - Using the SMART goal setting method (or any other process you prefer), form both short and long term goals for the project.
  • Human resources- Figure out the logistics of what the project’s team needs to look like (size, skills, roles, etc.)
  • Other resources - Figure out necessary capital (budget), technology, etc.

3 & 4. Execution & Monitoring/Controlling

Project execution is the longest and most demanding portion of the PM cycle. You and your team will be working on successfully completing the project according to the project plan created in the previous step.

The Monitoring & Controlling stage is parallel to the Execution stage. Here, the main task is to track the project. The things you track should include overall progress, budget/spending, and other measurable metrics specific to the project.

In these two stages, the main goal is to efficiently and effectively get the project’s deliverables ready for the client.

5. Closing

This is the last part of a project’s life cycle. Once your client is fully satisfied with the deliverables of the project, the project is considered complete. Before moving forward, hold a debrief with the project’s team. This will allow everyone to reflect on their personal development as well as what went right and wrong over the course of the project. The latter is especially important because you want to utilize strategies that were effective to avoid any mistakes in future projects.


About The Author

Yash Gupta

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I’m Yash, a high school student, aspiring entrepreneur, and VP of Library at Pitch Labs! With a passion for business and computer programming, I hope to be delivering innovative solutions in the technology world.

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